From Sara Vancil
The Board of Directors just had our fall board meeting. I wanted to provide some key updates to the entire membership. Our various committees have been working diligently to fulfill their missions as well as the goals laid out for them in our three-year Strategic Long Range Plan.
- When we decided to stop having our on-site fall training, we convened an ad-hoc task force to look at “drive-in” trainings. This fall we are offering two NASFAA U credential trainings at five different sites. We have over 80 KASFAA members registered! At the winter board meeting, the board will be discussing if we should move from an ad-hoc task force to a permanent Professional Development committee, which would hold trainings of various types throughout the year separate from the spring conference.
- Our Corporate Support committee along with our Associate Member representative have been meeting to discuss how we can make membership and conference attendance most impactful for our vendors. The consensus has been to not move toward a tiered sponsorship plan but rather to focus on equal exposure for all our associate members. They will be looking for a la carte options to go along with the traditional sponsorship available during spring conference. A big thank you to all of our associate members who help support KASFAA!
- Our Outreach Training committee is hard at work getting ready to train our various partners on the FAFSA and financial aid. They set a goal to have the trainings earlier this year and they have done it! They have over 250 registrants and will train high school counselors, TRIO and GEAR UP counselors, and DCF staff who work with students in foster care at seven sites across the state. All trainings will happen before October 1 when the FAFSA launches.
- The Conference Planning committee had their first committee call yesterday to start talking themes and sessions. The spring conference will be April 3-5 at the DoubleTree Hilton here in lovely Lawrence, KS. Put it on your radar! In addition, our Membership committee is gearing up for membership renewal season. If you are a primary member, please respond in a timely fashion to requests to renew and to update your membership roster.
- The Finance committee along with our Treasurer are working on our audit as well as creation of new handbooks for both the Treasurer and the Treasurer-Elect. The board voted last spring to invest $113,000 of our funds with Charles Schwab. NASFAA and RMASFAA also have their reserves invested with Charles Schwab. Our hope is that we can produce more return on our investments than we have been making with traditional CD’s, although we will still use CD’s for short-term investing. The board will spend time each year at the spring board meeting reviewing the balance sheet to determine how we want to spend any returns made in the past year to meet the goals of the association in the next fiscal year. This might mean sending more members to RMASFAA Summer Institute, sending more of our leaders to the NASFAA Leadership Expo, or putting money into more trainings for members without having to charge a lot to attend. We are excited to be making plans for how to use the reserves we built up during the College Goal Sunday years (from various grantors and KBOR) to benefit our members!
- We recently changed from PayPal to goEMerchant for online payment processing. You can pay for membership renewal and event registration with a credit card. At this time, KASFAA is absorbing the cost of this service for members. The board will re-evaluate this at the spring board meeting.
- Our Electronic Resources committee is redesigning our website! We are working with ATAC (the company that manages our website and membership/event database) to give the site a new look and to streamline navigation to make things easier to find! We hope to have this debuted by the end of 2018.
- KASFAA budgets to pay the registration fee for four members to attend RMASFAA’s Summer Institute in June each year. Some years we raise additional funds at the conference to send additional people. The application for this scholarship will be online by the beginning of January. The entire board reads applications (anonymously) and votes on the recipients. I will notify winners by March 15 so they can make registration plans. We will also celebrate our recipients at the spring conference.
As you can see by this update, KASFAA is a well-oiled machine thanks to our volunteers. We have nearly 80 individuals who serve on the board and committees. THANK YOU to everyone for putting their time, talents and energy into this association. Thank you giving me the opportunity serve all of you this year as KASFAA President. Have a wonderful fall semester!